When I look at other people’s garbage they put out to be picked up, I am always amazed how little we put out. Most of our refuse has a place to go. I always try to repurpose things. The chickens eat all our food waste. They especially like leftover fish and meat. They are not vegetarians as many mistakenly believe. They prefer bugs and worms to vegetables and therefore love meat. We have a seltzer maker. Recently, we ran out of the CO2 bottles and had to use plastic store bought bottles and our recycle container was full! What a huge savings it is to use the seltzer maker. We do drink a lot of seltzer and water. Which brings me to my lunch. I pack my breakfast and lunch every day in Pyrex glass containers that I throw in the dishwasher at night to reuse in the morning. I always have a water in a tall canning jar with lemon packed as well. I just see the mess everyday when the office buys lunch in all those plastic containers and Styrofoam. One lunch for three fills a garbage bag. More junk at the landfill. I know I am blessed with wonderful organic food from the farm so who wouldn’t pack their lunch but I think we can all do a little better for the Earth and our health.
This week a very large outbreak of Salmonella in Eggs Nationwide. Walmart and other large supermarkets were implicated. Many people got very sick. The conditions in these large egg farms are deplorable and encourage disease and bacteria to be absorbed in to the eggs. Sadly that strain must have been very virulent as eggs go through a series of washes and dipping to prevent this. Eggs from a local small farm have their natural coating that protects them. It is not removed like they do in large scale farming. That is why you see eggs in other countries out on the shelf with the bread. They still have their coating. They last forever. I was amazed when I was in London to see the eggs not refrigerated but that is why. They do not remove the safety barrier that Nature provides. I have had eggs still good that I kept refrigerated for 6 months. Try that with a store bought egg!
I don’t know about you, but I have been noticing all the plastic bags on the side of the road littering our beautiful landscape. I try, as I sure you do, to take the reusable bags to the grocery. I am also trying to not take bags anywhere I can, so we can cut back on this mess. I am avid birder and often birds catch my eye in a tree and I look up only to find it is a bag. In the supermarket I use my cloth bags that I wash every time if I put meat in them. Unfortunately the checkout person still puts meat in plastic or looks at me like I am crazy to put meat in a fabric bag. It is a battle. I always just throw them in the wash with the towels and it is no big deal. I get it, some people come in with filthy bags and the checkout people are gaging. But seriously, we need to think about these bags in the landfill just for our convenience. Buy some nice bags that you are happy to have in your car and make sure they are washable.
I am so excited planning for the vegetables in the field. It is fun to dream about eating fresh produce straight from the field, canning and preserving the bounty and filling those CSA baskets! I have some good new exciting vegetables to try this year too.
Michael Pollan correctly points out that you really need to think about what the animal you are eating, eats. For instance we are feeding Skittles and other candy to the beef cows in this country and this is acceptable. Do you want to eat beef that was raised on Candy? You see for chickens fed only vegetarian diets. They are omnivores. They should be eating protein from all kinds of sources, bugs, snakes and mice. This assures they receive the correct protein for their diets that might be hard to get on a strictly vegetarian diet. I am so happy I have access to my pasture raised poultry and beef. Everyone should try to source this locally. I am confident your health will reflect your choices.
I am canning, drying or freezing morning, noon and night. I just can’t let any of the wonderful produce from Gray Family Farm not be preserved for the rest of the year. If I never see another tomato, it will be fine. Oh my God, tomato sauce, catsup, salsa , chili starter, dried tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, tomato juice, all canned and ready for the winter. My house smells so good!
Ahhh, another birthday coming. I love the birthday season as I call it. You need to celebrate 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after. I certainly make a habit of celebrating! This year is so different than the snowy Winter we had last year. I even notice the birds are singing a little differently. They know Spring is around the corner.
I have learned a lot about our little friends that look a shield with legs. Kind of dinosaur-like. It seems like they have come from Allentown, PA. What is it about Allentown that would be a source for these bugs? Evidently they came off a ship from China that came in to the Port of Newark, NJ and then….. hopped a truck to of all places Allentown on Route 78. The rest is history. Yuk. Do not squish them. It only attracts thousands more! Somehow their smell (Which smells like Cilantro) that may or may not come out when they are crushed attracts more of them. Also it is best not to use pesticides, just plain soap and water is sufficient to kill them. Amazing! Either vacuum them or flip them in to soapy water and then they die very quickly. More than you wanted to know I am sure!
We now are selling fresh chicken at the
farmstand and it is so hard to explain to
people the difference between chicken raisded
in a beautiful pasture and chicken raised in
the traditional chicken house with light of
day. One thing that is a dead give away is
the scent. It smells like fresh air. Something
like clothes hung outside to dry as opposed
to that “foul” smell that we have become
accustomed to, no pun intended.
Here in NYC for the Drama League Awards, more to come.